Advantages and Disadvantages of Written and Unwritten Constitutions

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Written and Unwritten Constitutions

By | March 2013
Page 1 of 9
Identify and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of written and unwritten types of constitutions.

A constitution is a body of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or organization is governed, especially when embodying the rights of subjects. A constitution sets out how all the elements of Government are organized and how power is carved up among different political units. It contains rules about what power is wielded, who wields it and over whom it is wielded in the governing of a country. As a kind of deal or contract between those in power and those who are subjected to this power, a constitution defines the rights and duties of citizens and the devices that keep those in power in check. A constitution is the supreme law of the land in any given country and no other law may conflict with it, nor may the government do anything that violates it. Constitutions exist as national and regional. Two types of national constitutions that exist are the written (codified) constitution and the unwritten (uncodified) constitution. Countries like the United Kingdom, Israel and New Zealand possess the unwritten constitution while countries like India, United States and states of the Commonwealth Caribbean possess the written constitution. A written constitution is one that is contained in a single document which is the one source of constitutional law in a state. Written constitutions are often the product of some dramatic political change such as a revolution as was the case of America and the gaining of independence by the Commonwealth Caribbean countries from Britain. The process by which a country adopts a constitution is closely tied to the historical and political context driving these fundamental changes. The legitimacy and longevity of codified constitutions have often been tied to the process by which they were initially adopted. States that have codified constitutions normally give the constitution supremacy over...